Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Big Kat Does the ATL
My ex-husband, Gary (AKA Big Kat or, even better, THE Big Kat) is a character and a curmudgeon. He’s also a philosopher and a pundit. Gary is an expert on many things, even those he knows very little about.
Take Atlanta, for example. The Big Kat has been to Atlanta only about twenty times in his entire life, but he systematically reads the AJC online every day so he can keep up with who was murdered where, and why he hates it (Atlanta, not the murdering) so much.
Although he wasn’t born in Warner Robins, Gary has lived there for about 80 of his 62 years, leaving only to travel to Perry to play golf, Athens for football, and Augusta for the Masters.
Now that two of our three kids have moved to Portland, Oregon, The Big Kat has yet another metropolis to obsess about and hate. To make matters even worse, those two kids have “done gone” and had three kids of their own and so now, if he wants to see any of them, he not only has to fly to Portland, his second least favorite city in the world, he also has to drive to Atlanta, his most hated city in the universe, to catch his plane. Of course, College Park, where Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is located, isn’t really Atlanta, but to Gary, it still counts.
Just recently, Big Kat had to sojourn to the real Atlanta for a doctor’s appointment at Crawford Long Hospital right smack in the middle of Midtown. He worried about it for weeks and planned his route for days. He ultimately decided, instead of attacking it head on, he would infiltrate from the east, a maneuver General Sherman would have considered brilliant. He left just after noon on Sunday for an appointment at eight on Monday.
I'd suggested that Gary stay at the historic Georgian Terrace Hotel right across Peachtree Street from the Fox Theater as it was close to Crawford Long and because both old establishments would be in keeping with his allegiance to "how things used to be". He committed because of the $99.00 Special Rate.
However, when he called me late Sunday afternoon, all was not well. He'd made it to his hotel via his special route and had checked in just fine. The problem appeared when he couldn’t find anything on the hotel menu for supper, saying, “I can’t even tell what any of that stuff is.” The poor guy was wandering up and down Peachtree Street as out of place as a grizzly bear in a wine bar. Although most of the loud comments he was making to me from his cell phone were too politically incorrect to include here, I can report that he said he was "the only one wearing a belt", and that some Beamer had just pulled up next to him with a poodle hanging out the window barking at him.
As it turns out,The Big Kat finally happened upon a Quiznos, which made him pretty happy, and he survived the night, making it to his appointment the next morning. When I talked to him Monday afternoon, he was back in Middle Georgia where the Allman Brothers got started and God Still Lives. He had, of course, become an expert on leaving Atlanta now that he’d done it once, telling me how to access I-75 in a way much superior to any of my ways.
Although Gary was a bit peeved his $99.00 special had ended up costing him $137.50 after taxes and valet parking, he now considers the Georgian Terrace to be THE place to stay in Atlanta, not because of its relatively easy access, its comfort, its history, or the poodle; and definitely not because I recommended it. I think it’s because of the Quiznos.